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Server locking up every hour at same time

Posted on 2014-12-19
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Last Modified: 2015-01-05
One of my clients has a server that freezes every hour at the same time.  I believe that when you reboot, whatever time the server comes up is the "magic time" wherein it then begins to lock up each hour.  For example- if the server completes its boot at 0938, it will then lock up at 1038, 1138, 1238 and so on.  All programs running from it lock up or disconnect entirely.  if working directly on the server the mouse moves, but no response from any click or key press.  The server is the only one on site- there are only four users.  Naturally it is the DC/DNS/DHCP.  It also hosts TrendMicro AV.  It used to host Spiceworks, but that has been removed.  There is absolutely nothing of any help in the Event Logs.  I've ran chkdsk and sfc (both of which found and repaired errors) but no change.  I assume it has to be a service or app, but I have no idea how to track it.
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Question by:STS-Tech
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by:Gary Fuqua, CISSP
ID: 40510486
Did you check scheduled tasks to see if anything is set to run every hour?
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Dr. Klahn earned 250 total points
ID: 40510501
First place I'd look is in Scheduled Tasks to see if something is running hourly after the boot.

If nothing is in Scheduled Tasks, then I'd download the Microsoft Process Monitor tool, set it to log process initiations (see below) in its own file rather than the pagefile, and see what the last few process initiations are before the system goes down.

Process Monitor
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by:ZabagaR
ZabagaR earned 250 total points
ID: 40511184
Process Monitor is a great idea.  Also get Process Explorer and TCPView from the same source, SysInternals.

Download the entire suite of SysInternals tools.  Process Monitor, Process Explorer and TCPView are all included.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb842062.aspx

Maybe you have a resource leak?  Or a runaway process?  Open Process Explorer and pick View -> Select columns so you can pick up more information...process owner, path, threads, handle count, etc....You can sort the live view by any column. If you know when your server is going to hang -up, and it sounds like you do, watch for something eating a lot of resources....whether cpu, memory, network, disk i/o.

You can use TCPView to see who & what is using your tcp ports. I've seen instances where a virus/spyware will use all of the tcp sockets on a machine and freeze it.  I've had programmers write bad code that never released a tcp socket when done, so it kept consuming until there were none left.  DNS will be listed a lot here, which is ok.  Keep an eye on what is using your TCP connections and if it keeps constantly increasing.
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Expert Comment

by:Pramod Ubhe
ID: 40511414
first isolate the issue between software/ hardware, for that boot the server in safe mode and check if safe mode goes beyond 60min. if yes then it is definitely something related to software/OS, then you can check by disabling applications one by one in normal mode (start > run > msconfig > startup/services). for hardware issues it can be anything from a faulty hardware or driver or loose connections etc.
also see if you can analyze memorydump file located in c:\windows to see any issues or the root cause.
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by:STS-Tech
ID: 40521840
I have been running Process Monitor for a couple days and nothing jumps at me though it looks like lsass.exe takes as much processing power as the server has when it runs. Unfortunately, I am trying to troubleshoot a remote server so safe mode doesn't help.

This server also host Logics software and all that entails as well.

I am currently running Process Monitor and Process Explorer. Is there someone who is willing to take a closer look at any logs if I can post them? I've been staring at this problem for awhile now.
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Author Closing Comment

by:STS-Tech
ID: 40532353
While none of the installed programs revealed the problem- they put us on the right path.  Turns out it was Trend Micro Admin Console
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